This week in not kidding: David Sills, a 13-year old from Bear, Delaware, has committed to play quarterback for University of Southern California…one day. USC, the most hallowed of hallowed football institutions—grudgingly holding classes in between game days—has made Sills their youngest recruit yet. The Trojans, coming off a forgettable 8-4 season in 2009, lost revered Head Coach Pete Carroll to the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and immediately replaced him with Lane Kiffin, shameless narcissist and global expert on recruiting loopholes. Kiffin, who several times in his career has illegally lured high school students to college, is again channeling his inner creepy dad who likes Miley Cyrus “for the music.” In addition to renting a helicopter to recruit Atlanta-area high school players, the Lane Kiffin highlight reel includes the accident he got in—in a rental car—while coaching at Tennessee. He apparently fled the scene on foot, putting several co-eds he was driving with at the time in the awkward position of explaining what they were doing in a rental with a 34-year old coach in the first place.
While Sills might surprise everyone in the sporting world by actually following through on his promise, both contractually and talent-wise, it’s important to remember that a verbal commitment in the NCAA means about as much as a promise for universal health care in America. Either party can back out of the agreement at any time, which will make for an interesting game of chicken when the boy gets old enough to, you know, learn algebra, or wear his shoes without aid of Velcro straps.
Of course no story about athletic phenoms would be complete without a Svengali type masterminding the whole thing from the sidelines. That’s where Steve Clarkson comes in. Sills’ personal QB coach (because apparently they have those in Delaware’s post-crisis economy), Clarkson was the impetus behind the whole deal, according to esteemed news source SPORTSbyBROOKS.com. Clarkson has a lot to gain out of this particular commitment, unsurprisingly. He runs a camp for QBs, and the press he nets from this super-serious business venture will make his “Dreammaker” camp a bigger deal than it already is. Men’s Journal claims that Clarkson “will transform your boy into tomorrow’s hot prospect.” It’s not quite an endorsement from Boys II Men, but it’s a start.